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Top Things To Do In Jacksonville

Jacksonville is nestled between beach and forest, with the Outer Banks nearby and the Croatan National Forest just a short drive away. The New River offers countless watersports and cruises, and the little hamlets in the surrounding downtown areas host dozens of delicious restaurants, including the famous Jeff’s Burgers, Dogs and Shakes. There is a deep military tradition in the city, so be sure to catch the many memorials and parks in the area. Jacksonville is a great place to discover nature and historic attractions.

Jacksonville has considerable southern charm, where barbeque and war museums abound. But there is so much more—from wineries nestled in the nearby National Forest to kayak adventures on the New River, the diversity of activities near Jacksonville are astounding.

The best things to do near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Learning to surf at the popular Surf City Surf Camp
  • Getting a taste of small-batch southern comfort at Walton’s Distillery
  • Visiting Hammock’s Beach State Park for some hiking or island camping
  • Chowing down on a fantastic meal at Jeff’s Burgers, Dogs and Shakes
  • Checking out the historical CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center

Vacations can be fun even on a budget. But you don’t have to worry about sacrificing fun to save a buck here. Jacksonville is full of free natural areas and parks to wander during the day, as well as cheap eats and drinks after the sun goes down.

Affordable things to do near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Break a bunch of dishes at Smash Shack
  • Grab your bait and tackle — go fishing at The Jolly Roger Pier
  • Visit the beautiful military memorial of the Freedom Fountain
  • Borrow a book from the free library box at Richard Ray All-American Park
  • Wander about at the Twice as Nice Flea Market

Whether you’re a tourist in your own town or experiencing Jacksonville for the first time, there are many must-see attractions to visit in the area.

The best tourist attractions near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Explore the breathtaking North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Park
  • Take in the historical and natural beauty of the Tryon Palace
  • Get nautical and discover the North Carolina Maritime Museum
  • Shop ‘til you drop in the many retail shops at the Jacksonville Mall
  • Take a walk, watch the sunset, and enjoy the views at Surf City Pier

Jacksonville has amenities to enjoy every day, as most cities often do. There are excellent cinemas to catch the latest flick, and cheap treats to satisfy your cravings on a budget.

Fun things to do today in Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Catch the latest movie at Carmike Patriot Cinemas
  • Stop in to Thig’s BBQ house for some delicious cheap eats
  • Wander the wilderness and take a hike on Brice Creek Trail
  • Grab some drinks and check out the live music at Nick’s Blacksheep Tavern
  • Visit the Pelletir House for an engaging history lesson

The Jacksonville area nightlife is vibrant and diverse. No matter your speed, there are fantastic activities to experience at night everyone.

Nighttime activities near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Sing your heart out at the Hideaway Lounge karaoke
  • Test your smarts at Angry Ginger Irish Pub during Tuesday and Thursday night trivia
  • Immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere at Sahara Hookah Lounge
  • Sip some cocktails and dance the night away at Salt Ultra Lounge
  • Grab a flight of beers at Salty Turtle Beer Company

Everyone has their own idea of an ideal weekend. For the adventurous types, trails abound, and the many beaches and islands around Jacksonville provide sun, sand, and surf for weekenders.

Weekend activities near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Take a relaxing lunch cruise with Bayonet Cruises
  • Road trip up to the big city, Raleigh, for a weekend adventure
  • Venture out to Topsail Island for some sun and sand
  • Hike the many incredible trails of Croatan National Park
  • Grab some brunch at the tasty Northstar Café

With so many outdoor activities, it’s easy to find fun for the whole family around Jacksonville.

Family-friendly things to do with kids near Jacksonville, NC:

  • Hang with animals big and small at the Lynnwood Park Zoo
  • Get your bounce on at the Altitude Trampoline Park
  • Stay active and enjoy mini golf and batting cages at Swingin’ Things
  • Knock over some pins and bowl at Bowlarena
  • Make a splash with the kids at Water Boggen water park

Everyone has their own particular idea of date night, but Jacksonville has it all. Restaurants and romantic outings range from casual to luxurious and cater to all kinds of tastes.

Date night ideas near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Enjoy a luxurious meal at the delicious Osprey Grill
  • Learn some new moves and take a dance class at Margaritas
  • Take a romantic dinner cruise with Southern Belle Excursions
  • Catch the latest flick at Emerald Plantation Cinemas
  • Discover your new favorite comic at the Dead Crow Comedy Room

Whether you’re team building or out for a family reunion, the Jacksonville area has plenty of exciting group activities.

Things to do with your friends near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Puzzling it out and escape the room at Cracked It!
  • Testing out your aim with a competitive game of paintball at Southwest Paintball
  • Checking out a race at Coastal Plains Raceway Park
  • Playing a couple games of pool while enjoying some brews at Shirley’s V-Bar
  • Caravaning up to the beautiful Lake Road Winery for a group tasting

On those days where you just need to lay back and relax, you are in for a treat. Check out the many small art galleries in the Jacksonville area, or indulge in a pampering at the spa.

Best indoor activities near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Visit the quiet yet stunning Thurston Art Gallery.
  • Treat yourself to a day of pampering at the Inis Spa.
  • Spend a day of wine tasting at Huffman Winery.
  • Get creative with an evening at Painting With a Twist.
  • Enjoy a tasty, relaxing meal at Ducks Bar and Grille.

Woods and sea abound in the Jacksonville area. For active types, there are hiking and biking trails, kayak and paddle board rentals, horseback riding, and surf lessons.

Active outdoor attractions in Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Wander the beautiful memorials at Lejeune Memorial Gardens
  • Rent some kayaks at Paddle North Carolina and explore the New River
  • Go on a horseback riding adventure with the folks at Equine Country
  • Tee off with some friends at Bear Path Golf Club
  • Enjoy the ocean on a stand up and paddle board at North Topsail Beach
Every city has its hidden treasures, and Jacksonville does not disappoint. There are tasty spots to grab a bite of world-wide cuisine and enjoy a unique cultural experience, even in this small town.

Must-see places near Jacksonville, NC include:

  • Run with the Marines at the USAA Grand Prix Series
  • Explore the waters and learn something with Second Wind Eco Tours
  • Have some fun at the unique multi-story wooden water park, Green Springs
  • Get a taste of North Africa at Marrakesh Moroccan restaurant
  • Trek out to the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden

Top Attractions

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden General Daytime (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) Admission Pass
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden General Daytime (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) Admis...

Create lifelong memories and reconnect with nature at this spectacular botanical garden. Known as the Carolinas’ “garden for all seasons,” this garden is set on 380 acres on the banks of shimmering Lake Wylie, and boasts fountains, trails, a visitor pavilion, and North Carolina’s only conservatory of tropical plants and orchids. Wander the grounds at your own pace while admiring the wealth of plant life, and relax in the calming, natural surroundings while exploring the multiple gardens.

Belmont
90+ bought
$14.95
Beach Cruiser Rental on the Outer Banks
Beach Cruiser Rental on the Outer Banks

Our Bikes are well maintained and ready to ride!

Raleigh / Durham
$16.91
Duke Blue Devils Football Tickets
Duke Blue Devils Football Tickets
Durham
8 bought
$19.00
Wild Horse Tour from Virginia Beach
Wild Horse Tour from Virginia Beach

April - October:  From Virginia Beach,  take a short drive to the water taxi for a 10-minute boat ride across the Currituck Sound

Pungo-Blackwater
(8)
$65.00
Oconaluftee Indian Village Admission Including Guided Tour
Oconaluftee Indian Village Admission Including Guided Tour

Come spend the day with us! As you enter the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina, you are swept away to the 18th century

Raleigh / Durham
10+ bought
$20.00
Coastal Sailing Adventure in Wrightsville Beach
Coastal Sailing Adventure in Wrightsville Beach

This tour is a spectacular way to see the waterways, barrier islands, and marine life surrounding Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina

Masonboro Bluffs 48.0 mi
20+ bought
$95.00
Winston-Salem Historical Ghost Tour
Winston-Salem Historical Ghost Tour

A 90 minute historical ghost walking tour of Winston-Salem’s West End Historic District guided by the eerie glow of candlelight. This tour will teach you the spooky history that has roamed this area since it’s beginning in the mid 1700s. Tragedies, superstitions, legends, history, and ghost stories. Much has happened in this old city and there are many that believe some of it’s history is still lingering behind. Entertaining, educational, fun, and spooky!

Raleigh / Durham
(1)
$15.00